As our obsession with being constantly connected to the rest of the world via our smartphones rises, so has the idea of the digital detox; look away from your phone, turn it off, lock it in a box and eat the key. For five minutes. Please. But, rather than do this we have developed more tech to solve our tech dependency in the form of wearable pieces that will stop us reaching for our phones in less than appropriate situations to check for notifications.
Having accepted that I’m entirely dependent on my smartphone and that I always leave one part of my mind with it, even when I leave my desk to make some coffee (has someone texted me? I heard it buzz. I might have even felt it buzz. Maybe I’ve developed Bluetooth) I am more than happy to see the development of wearable tech that will allow me to throw my phone in the depths of my bag and rest easy in the knowledge that I’m not missing a thing.
That said, the new smart ring from Omate – made in partnership with French design firm Emanuel Ungaro – is a wearable that seems to stop just short of offering complete peace of mind. It’s sensible that a wearable should have less features than a smartphone; the sparingly specific notifications are a big part of their benefit. But the Omate smart ring takes this idea of simplicity a little too far. The ring only vibrates when a specifically designated person attempts to contact you, be it by call text message or social media message. That’s kind of useful, but what about all the other people that contact me with important news? I am by no means inundated with people, but I’d like to receive alerts for more than one of them. I can’t help but be reminded of Tolkien: ‘One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to alert them all and in the smartphone bind them.’ I just want to be connected to all my friends. That’s what Sauron wanted too. Right?
The ring is reminiscent of the Altruis smart jewellery line by Kovert, and although the Ungaro ring has just as good a battery life (around 5 days), it doesn’t really match up otherwise. The Altruis line is able to handle more alerts from more contacts, has a greater diversity of wearability, and greater affordability. And it looks just as good, if a little less ostentatious and little more like costume jewellery.
That said, Omate have developed a wearable that is undeniably more stylish than your everyday tech – definitely a statement piece. The ring is chunky and available in 18K gold or silver. It also features a large gemstone, with a choice of blue topaz, opalite, onyx, sapphire, and ruby. The ring is to be assembled by the Richline Group and will go on sale through them in November 2015 for between £320 and £1278. It’s not cheap, but it is luxe, and if you’re going to buy expensive jewellery, it might as well do something more than just sit on your hand.
Main Image: © Omate